FABRI, Johann

FABRI, Johann. Declamationes divine de humane vite miseria.

Augsburg, Expensis Ioannis Miller, 1520.




£ 2,000


Folio, ff. 94, ☞6 A-O6 P4 (lacking the two final leaves of the initial quire). Roman letter, headings in Gothic. Title in red and black ink, predominantly red, within an elaborate full-page woodcut border, large printer’s device by Daniel Hopfer on last leaf [Davies 16], one capital space with guide-letter at the beginning of the text. C20th armorial bookplate of Albert Ehrman on front pastedown, bookplate of his Broxbourne Library (‘Bibliotheca Broxbourniana J.P.W.E. 17 March 1949 Ex dono A & R.E’) to rear pastedown. Lightly soiled and yellowed, some occasional spotting and dampstaining, two wormholes on outer margins throughout the block, no text loss. In modern crimson quarter morocco, boards covered in red marbled paper.


The son of a blacksmith, Johann Heigerlin (1478-1541) followed the humanistic custom of adopting the name of Faber or (filius) Fabri. He was an admirer of Erasmus and an advocate of church reform. In 1513 he became the highest episcopal official in Basel and in 1514 a priest in Lindau. From 1518 to 1523 he was vicar general of the bishopric of Constance. He eventually became Bishop of Vienna. Faber was at first friendly with the Reformers, sympathizing with their efforts at reforming and opposing certain abuses himself; but when he realised that neither dogma nor the Church itself was spared by the Reformers, he broke with them and became their most consistent opponent. He is sometimes called the “hammer of heretics”. He entered into public debate with Zwingli at Zurich – First Zurich Disputation, Jan. 1523 – and was a prominent figure in all the diets held to restore the Church; as well as being one of the committees appointed to draw up a refutation of the Augsburg Confession. The present work is a collection of speeches discussing the human condition, sinful and precarious, and the greatness and perfection of the merciful Christian God. Faber praises the use of both Christian and pagan authors from antiquity whilst defending the study of scholastic authors in matters of religion and philosophy.


 VD16 F199; USTC 632019.